◀  No. 19603 Jan 2010 Clue list No. 1967  ▶



1.  D. K. Arnott: Nut topping – amande hachée (anag.).

2.  A. Whittaker: Prize for victors at Olympia and Nemea, with the old not excluded if mobile (anag. less ne).

3.  C. A. Clarke: Decoration that’s trimmed, twisted and placed on one (an + meda(l) (rev.), & lit.).


D. Arthur: Marinade’s not recipe I fancy for fillet (anag. less r I).

M. Barley: Head of athlete (one coming first) had me placed round? (an + a + ’d + me (rev.), & lit.).

M. Bath: Cook made an onion ring (anag.).

E. Dawid: One tied at the end held in unkempt mane (a + d in anag., & lit.).

N. C. Dexter: Find, say, a head of Nero and notice me around? (a N ad + me (rev.), & lit.).

P. D. Gaffey: Does AA mend old tire? (anag.; tire (arch.) = headdress).

R. Gilbert: What betrimmed a Naiad’s swept-back locks? (hidden rev., & lit.).

G. I. L. Grafton: We’ve not time for men fiddling with data that could dress up a poll (anag. less t).

R. J. Heald: What’s partially embloomed a napper, going round? (hidden rev., & lit.).

G. Johnstone: What could dress a mullet and a filleted maigre, battered? (anag. incl. m, e; see, incidentally, the amusing def. of ‘mullet’ in C.).

J. C. Leyland: Laurel maybe with mate Hardy, men regularly seen in a fine mess (anag. of alternate letters).

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Flowery adornment Dame Edna sports when first shows are screened (anag. less D E; show = sign, indication; ref. B. Humphries character).

W. F. Main: Some trimmed an azalea back and made an unusual wreath (hidden rev., & anag.).

D. F. Manley: Wreath transforms man’s head, kicking off last of Proms with Henry (anag. less s H; ref. H. Wood’s bust ritual).

C. G. Millin: Garland for May queen perhaps – a maiden without one must be upset (anag. less I).

C. J. Morse: What frump would wear this, even in vain daydreams? Maenad, possibly (alternate letters, anag.).

Dr S. J. Shaw: ——’s role (a spiral ring) could be as Nero’s imperial garland (comp. anag. & lit.).

D. H. Tompsett: Bays – the coasts of Canada are cleft by them ((C)anad(a) + ’em; cleave = sever; bay4).

Ms S. Wallace: The maiden’s headwear could be —— i.e. wreath she’d fashioned (comp. anag. & lit.).

R. J. Whale: What’s made an unkempt mane a model’s centrepiece, after styling? (anag., anag. incl. d, & lit.).


T. Anderson, D. Appleton, J. Biggin, T. C. Borland, C. J. Brougham, C. J. & M. P. Butler, J. & B. Chennells, M. Coates, P. Coles, A. Colston, G. P. Conway, Ms S. Curran, P. Dacre, T. J. Donnelly, W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, H. Freeman, B. Grabowski, Mrs E. Greenaway, P. F. Henderson, R. Hesketh, C. & C. Hinton, R. J. Hooper, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, B. Jones, P. W. Marlow, T. J. Moorey, C. Ogilvie, F. R. Palmer, N. G. Shippobotham, D. J. Short, C. M. Steele, P. L. Stone, A. W. Taylor, Mrs A. Terrill, L. Ward, A. J. Wardrop, G. H. Willett, J. Woodall.

212 entries, no mistakes. Favourite clue (by quite a margin): ‘Pregnant model burying her head?’ (IN PUP), the clue for WARMS coming a long way back in second place, and 21 clues receiving at least one mention. A collective sigh of relief was discernible after the rigours of the Christmas puzzle. ANADEM isn’t the most inspiring word (I had misgivings about it myself, on the grounds that I’ve probably clued it myself more than once, but at the time it seemed the best of the bunch to give you). Some had even used it as part of their wrappings for NGANA and experienced a strange feeling of déjà vu as a result. Like some latter-day Pentheus I was overrun by frenzied maenads and had to reject the majority of these unless they were accompanied by a degree of extra creativity.
A handful of inventive but flawed offerings are worth analysing. (i) ‘Handsome bean may be topped, filleted, and wreathed in this’ (anag. less h and bones, & lit.). The author suspected I might not allow this, and he was right. ‘Filleted’ to imply the removal of BONES (or a jumble thereof) is a ‘clue to a clue’, surely requiring more of the solver than is fair, however attractive the idea may be. (ii) ‘Married chap let me back on active duty after a bit of nookie’(married chap let = chaplet; a n + AD + me (rev.)). Leaving aside the question of the ‘surface reading’ of the clue (just what is going on here?), it lacks a clear definition part, this being only cryptically hinted at by the first three words: another ‘clue to a clue’, in other words. (iii) ‘GARLAND WITH LAUREL AND HARDY EVERGREENS – BACK IN THOSE DAYS THEY FILMED AN AWFUL LOT’ (hidden rev.). The clue being written in caps (this competitor’s normal practice, I think) disguises the fact that if written in upper and lower case ‘Laurel’ and ‘Hardy’ would have to appear thus, a weakness I feel. But that apart, I don’t approve of hidden clues in which there are functionless extra words which, again, load the dice against the solver. (iv) ‘Garland made a name playing lead part of Dorothy in revolutionary “Wizard of Oz”’ (anag. incl. n; D in mean A (rev.); mean, wizard = wonderful, brilliant). My main criticism here concerns the use of ‘of Oz’ to indicate A = Australian, a leap too far in terms of solvability, surely, even if one accepts the ‘wizard = mean2’ equivalence, which is slightly questionable. And I’m not sure that one would describe The Wizard of Oz as ‘revolutionary’, charming film that it is.
An amusing footnote to my recent mention of the Azed 1st prizewinner’s cup and its first experience of overseas travel (to Mr Henderson in New Zealand): Mr J. Horwood reminds me that in March 1974 he won a first prize while resident in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. ‘You very wisely decided’, he writes, ‘not to send the cup to me. Had you done so, it would probably still be in Saudi Customs, awaiting testing for minute traces of alcohol.’


The Azed Cup

Dr S. J. Shaw wins First Prize in competition 2603.

TERAS def. PRATT (Wrong Number)

After dismissing jolly, Starmer’s ordered to reveal what could lie behind dreadful Labour experience

This year’s honours table

The next Azed competition puzzle will be on Sunday 3rd July

Latest  AZED  No. 2,611  26th Jun

All online Azed puzzles

Dr Watson reviews Azed 2603

From the archive

Cooking turnips, I am following the precepts of Oliver (10)

First prize winner by Dr P. W. Nash in competition 2395